Of Peacocks and Practical Jokes

I’m not sure how vague I need to keep this one, but I’ll try to write it so that if you were there you’ll either know the story or be able to recognise the events. If you weren’t there, hopefully this will still be an amusing anecdote.

I had an employer who encouraged practical jokes. He wasn’t very good at them himself, but he saw them as a sign of a healthy work environment. Usually they were small things and not very memorable.

Then there was the time we created a news network, a revolution, and a plot to kidnap a person. All because of peacocks.

This was a school, and it had peacocks. They’re pretty birds, but they poop a lot and often in doorways or on sidewalks. The school decided to get rid of them (not knowing that the peacocks were killing the snakes – we’d learn that too late).

Many of us objected to the culling of the peacocks, and we decided to protest by making our own t-shirts, the Peacock Liberation Front. This is the photo I took and the graphic I made.

We decided that as a protest, we would kidnap the student-body president from the cafeteria at lunch time and “hold him hostage” until he had finished having lunch with us (we ordered pizza). We had flyers and we had a link to the Peacock News Network, a page put up on the school website (see image below).

Our demands were, of course, return the peacocks, for which we’d exchange the student.

We put this whole thing in motion, then…

The night before, our target, the student president, violated a major school rule and spent lunch in the Dean’s office as punishment. We couldn’t make a public “kidnapping” of him and we really couldn’t reward him with pizza when he was being punished.

So the “joke” collapsed.

Other than a few of us having t-shirts, I don’t think there’s any remnant of the story at the school.

I still have my t-shirt, in storage in Canada. I have the graphic here, and may reprint it for myself or even sell it on t-shirts again.